Johnson, Carl Leonard (1954– ); Johnson, Keith Edward (1954– ); Johnson, Sandra Ann Hutchings (1963– ) Paranormal investigators, especially of cases involving Demonic activity. Carl and Keith Johnson (identical twins) have worked as Demonologists with THE ATLANTIC PARANORMAL SOCIETY (TAPS). Keith and Sandra Johnson (husband and wife) founded the Near England Anomalies Research organization.
Keith and Carl were born in on December 9, 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up in North Scituate, Rhode Island. The Johnson family were the first to occupy the new house in North Scituate. Family members, including the children, soon experienced paranormal phenomena, such as disembodied voices and knockings at the walls and windows. Once, water in a glass held by the boys’ mother suddenly vanished with a loud “slurping” sound. By the time Keith and Carl were five, the sounds of animated human conversation could be heard outside their bedroom window. Although the conversation sounded close enough to be clearly heard, no specific words could be distinguished. This and other odd experiences led the boys to become intensely interested in spirit phenomena at an early age.
During their years of attending junior and senior high schools in Scituate, Carl and Keith began serious study of the paranormal, primarily the works and biographies of EDGAR CAYCE, HANS HOLZER, and Harry Houdini. They also began investigating locations within the community that were allegedly haunted, such as local cemeteries, old abandoned buildings, and even their own house. Sometimes their interests and activities were met with derision from their fellow students, but at other times a small group of interested friends would help with investigations and psychic experiments. Carl inadvertently obtained their first Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) evidence in their family home basement, while recording a conversation about the occult with a few of friends. An unknown female voice on the tape said, “Carl, help me. Help.” Around this time, Carl also began glimpsing a female figure dressed in Victorian attire flitting around the basement at night. Meanwhile, Keith was once again hearing distinct voices speaking gibberish outside of the bedroom window in the middle of the night.
While still in their mid-teens, Keith and Carl began the study of inhuman spirits as well as human ghosts— Angels, Demons, Elementals, and Shadow People. Carl was especially interested in the Demonic and darker side of both human and spirit nature. He began concentrating on the works of Aleister Crowley and Anton Szandor La Vey, among others.
When Carl and Keith were 17, they attended a lecture at Rhode Island College given by Ed and Lorraine Warren. They struck up a friendship that became lifelong with the famed paranormal investigators and Demonologists. This meeting, especially with Ed, was a turning point for Keith, inspiring him to pursue the field of Demonology.
It was also at Rhode Island College that Carl and Keith were invited to become members of an on-campus organization, the Parapsychology Investigation and Research Organization (P.I.R.O.). Through P.I.R.O., the brothers—still in their teens—became involved in their first full-blown inhuman case, which involved a Demonically besieged family in Harrisville, Rhode Island. They were assisted by the Warrens on the case.
P.I.R.O. eventually disbanded, and Carl and Keith continued to study and investigate the paranormal and occasionally work with the Warrens, as well as with other paranormal investigators.
In 1979, they both became members of Monitor East, a Providence-based organization run by the late Richard St. Germain. Although Monitor East began primarily as an organization to investigate reported UFO phenomena, Keith and Carl influenced the group into expanding its investigation protocol to include other aspects of paranormal phenomena. Carl and Keith began researching Rhode Island VAMPIRE legends and assisted with the eventually successful Exorcism of a 14-year-old boy Demoniac.
After the death of founder Richard St. Germain in the early 1980s, Monitor East disbanded. Throughout the remainder of the 1980s and into the 1990s, Keith and Carl continued to work regular daytime jobs while pursuing paranormal exploration and assisting people in their spare time.
Sandra Ann Hutchings was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, on May 17th, 1963. She was the seventh child of a seventh child. She attended high school in Warwick and received her college degree in human services in Warwick as well. Sandra also became actively involved in local theater in Warwick, which is where she met Keith. They married in 1991 and live in Warwick with their son, Keith Edward Johnson, Jr. Sandra originally had only a passing interest in the paranormal, but through Keith became intrigued.
In the 1990s, Carl also moved to Warwick. He and Keith met another Warwick resident JASON HAWES, founder of TAPS, who quickly became a close friend and colleague. Carl and Keith joined TAPS as senior investigators and Demonologists. Sandra soon joined TAPS as an assistant Demonologist, excelling in dealing with clients suffering negative spirit oppression.
When TAPS hit the limelight in the popular reality television show Ghost Hunters in 2004, advantages and disadvantages arose. Advantages were increased attention to paranormal research and an influx of cases. However, the intensive production soon began consuming a great amount of time, making it difficult to concentrate on some of the many cases not suitable for national media exposure, especially those of a demonic nature. Keith and Sandra branched off to found New England Anomalies Research. Carl also became a member of NEAR. The three maintain their relationship with TAPS and continue to function as consulting Demonologists. Among those they work with are John Zaffis and Adam Blai. Carl and Keith have appeared on several episodes of Ghost Hunters.
In addition to investigations, Keith and Sandra teach classes and lecture on the paranormal, specializing in inhuman hauntings. They host a weekly television talk show Ghosts R NEAR, aired in New England. Carl serves as alternate co-host. The Johnsons estimate that approximately 15 percent of hauntings involve nonhuman entities. Such cases have been on the rise since the 1990s. One significant factor is the overall rise in global tensions and feelings of insecurity and vulnerability, due in part to terrorism and the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.
- New England Anomalies Research Web site. Available online. URL: https://www.nearparanormal.com. Downloaded December 6, 2006.
The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007